What is it about a blanket fort? Kids love them and I see adults looking for reasons to join their kids in the fort. Forts made from sheets, blankets, sofa cushions, or actual bed tents have always been part of my kids and grandkids lives. I guess that might be a natural since Bob was an avid camper. But I was always the one who instigated the forts and I wasn’t a camper before I met Bob; I think it is something else.
It seems that the enticing things about home-made forts is that they are kid size and the private domain of the kid, fun things happen in them, they represent something special that isn’t present everyday, and maybe that someone loved them enough to make the fort for them. They are all pretty potent concepts.
In my quest to figure out what is fun for me now, I think I want to look at those a little closer. The significant movement to tiny houses nowadays seems to capitalize on the blanket fort. It is small, you feel protected, it is personal, you only take things into it that you love or need. That is actually how I feel about my two rooms. I love my sitting room and my bedroom. They still need some refinement, but they certainly feel like my safe haven.
Fun things happen in the fort. All of the cares of the world are “out there.” Though I seem to remember my grandson enjoying doing his homework in a fort. The feeling of your own space and doing what you want when you want lets the necessities of life even feel like fun. And reading is a huge activity in the fort. Puppet shows and stories enacted by a whole menagerie of stuffed animals were also prominent activities. What is the adult equivalent of that? Reading is still reading, just different titles. The puppet shows and story enacting, what are they? I think they probably represents conversations and explorations with friends. That is certainly a valued activity for me. Especially when it is in my own space or someone else’s own space. Restaurants and coffee houses are nice, but the conversation is never the same.
I don’t think any kid would want to live in a blanket for all the time; it represents a special event. How does that translate to adult-hood? Often adult special events include going somewhere to watch something or to eat something. Neither of those work well in a small private space. However, one of my favorite outings has been going to an informal Celtic music concert – one or two performers, small tables for people to sit at, in a small restaurant. That was great fun. The smallness was critical to its being fun. I wonder if that is part of the allure of a drive in movie? You can be private in your car with your friends and enjoy some entertainment and talk about it without disturbing others. Smallness seems to be important here as well as specialness.
And, finally, love is what created all of this. For the kids it was the love of a parent or a grandparent. Now, it needs to be love for myself. I think finding my blanket-fort activities and doing them is an important aspect of self love and self care. Typically another person or two or three are involved, so it is spreading that love to them, too.
What have I learned from these thoughts? I want to create amy own blanket fort – grown p style. I want it to be a place of enjoyment for a few friends. I want it to be beautiful, comfortable, and private. I want it to remind me that I am worthy of love from myself. I want to visit it regularly.
I will keep you posted on the fort’s progress.